One of the reasons for the delay in announcing evaluations of the Major League staff is that Huntington's time has recently been devoted to reshuffling particular areas of the front office. Also, the lateness of Huntington's own contract extension -- it wasn't announced until Sept. 11 -- has affected the timeline of end-of-season assessments.
"We have talked to our Major League staff and told them that we will get to them as soon after the end of the season as we possibly can," Huntington said. "Overall, I'm pleased with the job that they have done. They have answered some substantial challenges. They have each impacted a number of players in a very positive direction. They have worked together as a very positive group. Yes, very, very pleased."
Four of the eight members of Hurdle's staff are wrapping up their first year in the organization. Nick Leyva, Luis Silverio, Euclides Rojas and Mark Strittmatter were all brought in from elsewhere last winter.
The other four -- Jeff Banister, Gregg Ritchie, Ray Searage and Heberto Andrade -- were already working in the organization, in some capacity, when Hurdle named them to his staff.
"I'm very pleased with the job the coaches have done," Hurdle said recently. "I think there has been growth all over the board."
After finishing last in team ERA, team batting average and team fielding percentage in 2010, the Pirates have shown improvement in all three areas this year. The most drastic improvement has come on the pitching end. The club enters the final three games of the season with a 3.98 ERA after posting a 5.00 mark in 2010.